mindflutuations

How to maximize expression, aesthetic and poetic qualities in order to create something meaningful using neuron data in artworks? First we need to understand which possibilities are available and their logistic difficulties to set up a framework to program a customized implementation for such endeavor. 

Therefore, we looked for a device complex enough to allow reliable data and simple enough to allow manipulation and be used for non-technical interactors. Second, and the most important feature of such artwork, in our opinion, is its aesthetic and poetic qualities.  The chosen device after trying the commercial available ones was the Emotiv headset. Another possible choice is the NeuroSky headset.

What does theses device allow? They permit to read facial expressions, emotional states and a few cognitive data related to movements. After researching the results of such data we arrive at the conclusion that the most interesting for an artwork would be to use their affective suite. As artists we are interested in answering the former question asked above.

The second step was to find what in the digitalized data could allow expressive and poetic results without being too literal. The French thinker Edmund Couchot classified interaction as exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous being the literal question and answer paradigm we are used to have when working with computers; endogenous being the autonomous interaction among computer agents without any human control. As artists we were looking for a kind of symbiosis; the human acting in its total potential using the computer to expand their possibilities; the machine using these human emotions to create real time interaction with 3D virtual environments.

Therefore we have come up with the concept of exoendogenous interactivity. What is this? After the computer digitalizes the interactor's emotional input data in an exogenous way this data is used by autonomous endogenous processes within the virtual domain. What could be really meaningful in such processes? We concluded that if the interactor’s emotions could interfere with the behavior of any autonomous agent we would be in the path for a kind of interesting human-machine symbiosis; thus the research for such has begun.

The first result we had of such symbiosis was the robot artwork Caracolomibile2 built with an award received from the Brazilian Cultural Institute Itau, in 2010. Following this we have begun to develop a customized programed implementation using Java3DTM API to create a set of virtual interactive world domains in which autonomous endogenous process use emotional interactor´s data to interfere with the behavior of agents implemented using growth, collision detection, fractal growth, flock algorithms with pray and predator behaviors. This poetic implementation was entitled 'NumericVariations' (VariacoesNumericas).

The Brain computer interface (BCI) for the implementation was done with the support of the Institute of Mathematics and Art from São Paulo together the mathematician Donizetti Louro, computer scientist Pedro Garcia and software engineer Mario Pichiliani. The choreographer Maida Withers considered the use of this implementation in performances would allow us to extract its most unfathomable potential. That is what MindFluctuations is about. That is what we are working to achieve now.